Its been a ... busy week to say the least for people employed by Washington State University and the Pullman police department. We found out at the beginning of the week that Shalom Luani’s 2nd degree assault charge would be recommended to the prosecutors office. Then, the very same day, linebacker Logan Tago was arrested on assault and robbery charges stemming from an incident in June.
And that was just Monday.
On Tuesday, head coach Mike Leach issues a statement to the media (actually reading from prepared remarks, something that is rare for him), calling Pullman police’s handling of football players a “double standard” including this quote:
“If the other guilty parties are not accused or charged, there needs to be an extensive investigation as to why,” Leach said. “How in the world can only football parties be guilty in events depicted like this? It is irresponsible to this town, this community and everybody to have some kind of a double standard where we only focus on one demographic, one group of people and then drag their name through the newspaper with a bunch of irresponsible comments.”
On Wednesday, PPD chief Gary Jenkins spoke to the Spokesman-Review, denying that his department was targeting players for arrest, saying the long investigations for some of these incidents happen for a reason:
“Our priority is a thorough investigation and sometimes that takes time,” Jenkins said. “To me, these latest incidents, I would consider them an anomaly from what we have seen from the players of these coaches.”
After what had been a busy week for the football team and the police department (and included a segment on ESPN’s Outside the Lines this morning which we’re still trying to find video of), school President Kirk Schulz, Athletic Director Bill Moos and Jenkins sat down for a chat.
Following their talk, Moos released a statement:
So, after all this, where exactly do we stand? Pretty much in the same place we were at the beginning of the week when it comes to the players status. Despite the fact that Luani’s charges were forwarded to the prosecutors office, we don’t know yet whether they will officially file any, same goes for Tago. As for the fight at a party in July, Jenkins actually agreed with Leach’s assessment, saying there “are other actions going on that are mitigating” when he talked to the Spokesman.
But for the first time in what seems like ever, a coach or an administrator at Washington State spoke up about perceived biases held by the police force in Pullman. It’s something that we’ve anecdotal evidence of for years but now, someone who is in charge of the school’s largest athletic program is actually saying something about.
We don’t know a ton for sure about what will happen over the next few weeks but we do know one thing: this is likely far from over.